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Old 12-07-2005, 03:35 AM   #1
rewster451
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Default re-ocurring problem I can't solve

Well, as posted in the general beer discussion forum, I opened the America $&#* Yeah! today. Two of them were pretty good. But this is not about the flavor. Two of them just were flat as hamburgers. Same thing happened with my pumpkin beer. HB Bill says it might be the fact that I don't mix things around much when I throw in the priming sugar, but I would think that some of them would be over-concentrated with sugar and blow up. I just don't get it. And I want to make sure this problem goes away before I bottle any more of my beers.

Edit: Actually, I remember now that we did mix things around pretty well when bottling this one, because of what HB Bill said about my Pumpkinstein.

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Old 12-07-2005, 03:40 AM   #2
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Mine get like that too. When I made a Wit a few months ago, some were volcanos and some were flatter than 10 year olds. Why, even now the last couple of bottles of Kolsch in my fridge are pretty duddish. I dumped two already and the one I'm drinking now is nothing to brag about.

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Old 12-07-2005, 03:46 AM   #3
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Yeah, but none of them were volcanoes. The ones that carbonated were carbonated exactly right. Same thing with the Pumpkinstein. It leads me to think it's a problem with our sanitation, or the seals on the bottles, or something that could vary from bottle to bottle. The next beer to bottle is probably the Oatmeal Java, and I really think it will be great. It would be a shame to lose it because I can't bottle correctly.

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Up next: Big Brew Off competition between me and Kaptain Karma as one team, and my two roommates as another--We'll be brewing Pale Ales with specifications on malts, hops, and total yeild to see who's version is better (and to end up with ten total gallons of great beer).
Also up soon: Belgian Dubbel
Primary: Grampa's Woodshed Apple Smoked Porter
Secondary: Zombiefoot California Common, Chocolate Strong Porter
Drinking: Seamus O'Drunkagan Irish Red, Humble Pie Imperial Stout, Capricorn IPA
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewster451
Yeah, but none of them were volcanoes. The ones that carbonated were carbonated exactly right. Same thing with the Pumpkinstein. It leads me to think it's a problem with our sanitation, or the seals on the bottles, or something that could vary from bottle to bottle. The next beer to bottle is probably the Oatmeal Java, and I really think it will be great. It would be a shame to lose it because I can't bottle correctly.
My latest strategy is to use 1.5 cups of dme ad make sure its nicely mixed. Not too vigorously, but just enough to make sure the DME blends. This has been working for me lately.
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Old 12-07-2005, 04:12 AM   #5
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You guys are cooking your priming sugar in a some water before adding it to your batch aren't you?

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Old 12-07-2005, 04:14 AM   #6
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Of course.

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Up next: Big Brew Off competition between me and Kaptain Karma as one team, and my two roommates as another--We'll be brewing Pale Ales with specifications on malts, hops, and total yeild to see who's version is better (and to end up with ten total gallons of great beer).
Also up soon: Belgian Dubbel
Primary: Grampa's Woodshed Apple Smoked Porter
Secondary: Zombiefoot California Common, Chocolate Strong Porter
Drinking: Seamus O'Drunkagan Irish Red, Humble Pie Imperial Stout, Capricorn IPA
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:24 AM   #7
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Default Please help

I just want to bring this thread back to the top of the page. Yes I boil my sugar in water. Yes I stirred it before bottling. Last time this happened I didn't rinse my bottles after sanitizing, this time I did. The yeast has to be in good condition, otherwise none of them would have carbonated. The ones that did carbonate did so perfectly. There was not a cidery taste. I am befuddled. Someone has to know what went wrong here.

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Up next: Big Brew Off competition between me and Kaptain Karma as one team, and my two roommates as another--We'll be brewing Pale Ales with specifications on malts, hops, and total yeild to see who's version is better (and to end up with ten total gallons of great beer).
Also up soon: Belgian Dubbel
Primary: Grampa's Woodshed Apple Smoked Porter
Secondary: Zombiefoot California Common, Chocolate Strong Porter
Drinking: Seamus O'Drunkagan Irish Red, Humble Pie Imperial Stout, Capricorn IPA
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:53 AM   #8
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There's only 3 possibilities, take your pick:

1. Dead yeast..... not likely because some carbonated. Ruled out.
2. Priming sugar not evenly distributed....... You claim no. Ruled out.
3. Caps not sealing well enough to hold pressure to carbonate.......BINGO! Unless you left some sanatizer in some of the bottles you filled, thus killing the yeast or you pasteurized some of the bottles with too high a heat, that's your answer.

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Primary: Empty

Secondary #2: Empty

Bottle Conditioning: Oatmeal Stout

Drinking from Keg: Ordinary Bitter, Kolsch

Drinking bottled: Brown Autumn Wee Heavy
Hefe Weizen
Peaches and Cream Weizen


"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption... Beer!"
-Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck.

Next up: Hefe Weizen

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Old 12-07-2005, 10:28 AM   #9
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Everything ScottT said.

One thing some people do is their bottles are sanitised and rinsed properly, but their bottle caps are not rinsed enough and sanitizer is on the caps. This can vary from little carbonation to fairly OK carbonation.

Another thing is that boiling caps can ruin seals, particularly caps on the bottom of the pot.

How do you guys sanitise your caps?

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Old 12-07-2005, 11:55 AM   #10
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There's not too many things worse than flat beer

I read all the comments.

Question: Where are you storing your beers prior to fridgeration? Are they in cardboard boxes, the ones they come in like longnecks? Could be your temp is not even. I store mine in milk crates which is more open to the ambient temp.

As for sanitizing and sealing your caps, I don't boil mine. I boil the water then I remove the pot from the heat and place the caps in the water f9r a couple of mins. I remove them using tongs. I also give mine a spin after I place them on the bottle. Through "feel" I can tell if it's going to seal alright.

You don't want to boil your caps. I found the heat loosens the glue that holds the seal to the metal.

I've tried using sanitizer also, but heve not come to any conclusion on it.

If you think you may have a seal problem then just lay your bottles on their sides overnight and see if any are leaking in the morning.

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Last edited by homebrewer_99; 12-07-2005 at 08:22 PM.
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